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The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel [Paperback]

Stephen King
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

28 Feb 2013 Dark Tower


For readers new to The Dark Tower, THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE is a stand-alone novel, and a wonderful introduction to the series. It is a story within a story, which features both the younger and older gunslinger Roland on his quest to find the Dark Tower. Fans of the existing seven books in the series will also delight in discovering what happened to Roland and his ka tet between the time they leave the Emerald City and arrive at the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis.

This Russian Doll of a novel, a story within a story, within a story, visits Mid-World's last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. (The novel can be placed between Dark Tower IV and Dark Tower V.) Roland tells a tale from his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt ridden year following his mother's death. Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape shifter, a 'skin man,' Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast's most recent slaughter. Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime, 'The Wind through the Keyhole'. 'A person's never too old for stories,' he says to Bill. 'Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them.' And stories like these, they live for us.

The back cover of the UK hardcover edition features some 8,000 faces of those who entered the StephenKingFaces competition. These faces are indiscernible to the naked eye on the actual covers but they can be found and identified with the zoom mechanism on

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (28 Feb 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1444731726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444731729
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Product Description


A gem of a novel, enchanting and enchanted . . . King is utterly at home in Mid-World, and the cadences and rhythms of the vernacular he has created provide a language fitting for the stories and legends he recounts. (Guardian)

[A] phantasmagorical folk tale . . . King's ability to entertain and unsettle cannot be denied. The skill with which he delivers a shock or sense of gothic terror is simply unmatched (Independent on Sunday)

Perfectly balanced: another excellent example of King's sheer skill as a storyteller. (Daily Express)

Like John Steinbeck, he's an unfussy writer whose voice is rooted equally in the rhythms of everyday speech and the mythic made manifest in everyday life. Indeed, reading King, you often sense the presence of the dustbowl America of The Grapes of Wrath . . . a King novel has a sparse elegance that most novelists never achieve in a whole career. Put it down to the insistent, economical and wholly distinctive authorial voice. (SFX Magazine)

A frantic-paced puzzle-box adventure that encompasses gunslinger Roland Deschain's early years, werewolves and powerful storytelling. (Shortlist)

King is one of the great popular artists of our time. (Independent)

Classic King, fine characters, compellingly written in a gripping, well-honed plot (Daily Express on WOLVES OF THE CALLA)

Superbly energetic, it's King at his best. (Mail on Sunday on WIZARD AND GLASS)

Book Description

For readers coming to the epic bestselling Dark Tower series for the first time - and for its legion of dedicated fans - a fabulous new book about Roland's first quest and a perfect introduction to the series that was a Number One Bestseller in hardcover.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected treasure for Dark Tower fans 29 April 2012
By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I eagerly bought and read the Dark Tower/Gunslinger books for years. After all those years I did feel cheated when the last book finally came along, cheated by the way the quest finally ended, and cheated that there would be no further adventures to look forward to.

So I was happy but rather wary to find out that King had penned another Dark Tower novel. How would it fit in with the story already told ?

Well this book is written to slot in between novels 4 & 5 of the series. It can be read as a "stand-alone", but I think that those already familiar with the series will get more from it. It's a tale within a tale within a tale, that is not really part of the main story, but gives us another glimpse of the fascinating "Mid-World", and a very brief glimpse of an interlude in the quest of the main characters (the ka-tet) from the Dark Tower series.

A terrible storm (a "Starkblast") is on the way, and the ka-tet have to take shelter in an abandoned village. During the course of the storm Roland tells them about an episode from his youth, when as a young gunslinger he is sent by his father to investigate reports about a murderous "Skin-Man" (a sort of shapeshifter)in a distant dusty town. During this adventure he encounters a terrified young lad whose unconscious mind may hold the key to uncovering the human identity of the shapeshifter. Roland tells the lad a story that his mother had told him when he was a child, a story about a brave boy (Tim "Stoutheart" Ross), who has to leave his village and face the wonders and perils of ancient Mid-World to find a magical cure for his mother who has been gravely injured by his violent stepfather.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Rach
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As always, it was a pleasure to be back on the path of the beam. This book does not delve too deeply into the lives of my favourite Ka-tet, it simply enriches the tapestry of the story that has already been told. The writing was beautifully crafted and captured my attention immediately. I read the book from cover to cover in one day and was only sad to have to leave Mid-world again so soon. I've read a few of the reviews from people who were expecting more of Roland and his first Ka-tet's back story, and whilst I would love to read about those things too, I didn't feel the lack of them here. There is a joy in the author's story telling that I find impossible to deny. I fell in love with Tim and his tale. It also made me want to go back and re-read the Dark Tower series from the beginning again. Whilst you don't need to have read the series to appreciate this story I can't imagine anyone who has read it who wouldn't heartily recommend that you do.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Episode 4.5 26 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So, episode 4.5. On the one hand I would like an eternity of Dark Tower books, filling in all details and fleshing out stories. On the other hand, it's never worth over doing a story line.

This is a stand alone story in its own right. As ever, if you're a DT aficionado you will pick up references to the bigger stories, if you're not you won't. It's a story within a tale within the journey to the dark tower, although that does little more than set the scene for the tale.

The story is Mid-World's equivalent of a Grimm fairy tale. Only as it's Mid-World it's nastier and scarier. A boy faces up to challenges beyond his years, showing the strength that will ultimately turn him into a gunslinger.

The tale is one of Roland's youth, of inexperienced gunslingers being sent to deal with an unusual problem.

It's a joy to read a new tale of the DT, but this is a bonus to the main story, offering no additional depth to the quest for the DT. That aside, it's an enjoyable addition to the collection. Not SK's best but good enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Koopa90
King treats us to 3 different stories within his latest novel.
In part 1, we meet up with Roland and his Ka-tat, or if your familiar with the rest of the books, you can call them, our old friends :)
Heading once again along the trail of the beam, towards the Dark Tower. Though it isn't long before danger strikes, a devastating storm known as a Starkblast approaches forcing Roland and his companions to take shelter in an abandoned town hall.
Stranded until the storm passes, Roland sits everyone down and passes the time with a story from his past.

The story of the hunt for the Skin-Man (shapeshifter)
We find a young Roland once more (this takes place not long after the events Roland spoke about in Book 4, with Susan and Wizard's Ball)
accompanied by another gunslinger, Jamie De Curry, the two set off on a task set before them by Stephen Deschain. A beast believed to be a Skin-Man has been tearing people limb from limb and its up to Roland and Jamie to figure out who it is and how to stop it before a few killings turn into a Bloodbath.

During the Skin-Man story, we are subjected to a Story within and Story, as Roland, Young Roland, begins to tell yet another story.
The main story within the book is, as you may have guessed from the title, 'The Wind Through The Keyhole'
Which is a great tale of Tim Ross, the son of a Lumberjack and his wild adventure packed full of magic, horror and excitement.
I dont wish to explain too much about this story. Only that, at first I was like "Awww, I just want to hear about Roland, I don't care about this other kid" but before long, I found myself unable to put the book down as Tim's story turned from a classic sounding fairytale into some-sort of a, Mystery, Horror, Thriller. It's brilliant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
as says
Published 10 days ago by Jo Warren
4.0 out of 5 stars An extra treat
After having read what I thought was the whole story, I wondered how this tale would fit and if it would work having the knowledge of how it all ends. Read more
Published 17 days ago by alan loveday
4.0 out of 5 stars A collection of interesting stories
I picked this book up having been a follower of the Dark Towers Series. This book, in my eyes is written similar to the wizard and Glass which is one of my favourite books of all... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kevin McLeod
4.0 out of 5 stars review
Very good book . Page turner after a long wait. King has not lost the skill to entertain and lead the reader into another world.
Published 1 month ago by David Sheldon
5.0 out of 5 stars Top.!!!
Equally as outstanding as the rest of 'The Dark Tower' series. Thoroughly loved this book. Science fiction at its best.
Published 2 months ago by Gail Karpmann
5.0 out of 5 stars The best
There is no one, no one, who can hold a reader like the Master. I was chuffed to bits to find more about the Dark Tower Characters and welcome them back into my life. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Steff
5.0 out of 5 stars BGet back to what you know
I have read all of Stephen kings books. And have been through Roland's life from start to finish. It was great to read the wind through the key hole and live a wee bit of the dark... Read more
Published 2 months ago by l mantle
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Another fantastic book from Stephen King. Glad I had already read the Dark Tower books, I love the way he goes off on a tangent, a story within a story, but it all comes together... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Stephanie
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing added to Roland and team
I decided this winter to reread the Dark Tower and also some of the associated Stephen King novels none of which, unfortunately, got close to the Dark Tower epic. Read more
Published 2 months ago by C. R. Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic and enjoyable read
I really enjoyed this book, and so will anyone who follows the tales of the gunslinger. A well written story within a story.
Published 2 months ago by Christopher Hopkins
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